The 15 Best Cooking Classes For Retirees And Seniors

best cooking classes for retirees and seniors

Retirement offers the perfect opportunity to enjoy life’s finer things, including great food. Whether you’re an experienced cook wanting to expand your skills or a beginner exploring a new hobby, there’s a cooking class out there for you.

This article highlights some of the best cooking classes tailored for seniors and retirees. Ready to enhance your culinary skills and learn from top chefs? Read on to discover your next culinary adventure.

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1. Gordon Ramsay

What better way to learn how to cook in retirement than from a seven-star Michelin chef? With Gordon Ramsay’s online cooking class, you can follow along from the comfort of your own home. Ramsay offers a Masterclass from his home kitchen, where he teaches all aspects of cooking in 20 different videos.

In this course, Ramsay covers everything from the basics of cooking and knife skills to preparing fish and chicken, rolling pasta, and mastering ingredients such as vegetables, herbs, fish, beef, lamb, and pork. He guides you through making some of his favorite dishes, including poached eggs, scrambled eggs, chicken supreme, salmon with shellfish, lobster ravioli, and beef wellington.

Ramsay’s class is designed for cooks of any skill level and provides a fun and engaging introduction to cooking for retirees looking to perfect and elevate their culinary skills. Plus, there’s no need to worry about Ramsay’s famously fiery temperament; he takes a passionate and encouraging approach in this series.

By subscribing to Masterclass, you not only gain access to Ramsay’s course but also to 15 other cooking classes from world-renowned and celebrity chefs, as well as other classes taught by experts in various fields. This all-access pass is an excellent way to enjoy your retirement while learning from the best.

2. Gabriela Cámara

If you love Mexican food, you can follow an online cooking class from Gabriela Cámara, the star of modern Mexican cuisine. Cámara, the renowned chef behind the famous restaurant Contramar, shares her skills, secrets, and the richness of Mexican culture through step-by-step recipes.

In her class, you’ll learn to make delicious Mexican favorites like tuna tostadas, tacos al pastor, roasted fish, salsa, tortillas, quesadillas, and more. Cámara’s approach is detailed and accessible, making it a great class for everyone interested in the art of Mexican cooking.

The cooking class consists of 13 video lessons, each focused on a different Mexican dish. These lessons are designed to be engaging and informative, allowing you to master the flavors and techniques of Mexican cuisine.

3. Aaron Franklin

Have you always wanted to learn how to make the perfect brisket? Now that you have more time in retirement, why not take Aaron Franklin’s Texas-style BBQ Class? Franklin, one of the most influential pitmasters in the USA, started grilling as a hobby but now owns the popular restaurant Franklin Barbecue, where people line up for hours to taste his famous brisket.

In his Masterclass, Franklin teaches you how to handle an offset smoker, build and maintain fires, and make mouth-watering ribs, pork butt, steak, and brisket from start to finish. He explains the low and slow process, the importance of perfectly seasoned cuts, and achieving optimal temperatures.

4. Massimo Bottura

If you can’t travel to Italy in retirement, get a taste of Italy with an Italian cooking class from world-renowned chef Massimo Bottura. Bottura, a three-Michelin-star chef, runs one of the world’s best restaurants, Osteria Francescana, in Modena, Italy. He is famous for transforming regional classic Italian recipes into exciting modern dishes.

In his cooking class, Bottura teaches you how to make delicious Italian dishes such as tagliatelle al ragù, pesto, pumpkin risotto, tortellini, and the Emilia Burger. This class is a culinary adventure that brings the flavors of Italy to your kitchen, perfect for retirees looking to explore and enjoy Italian cuisine.

5. Alice Waters

For those who want to cook more organically in retirement, Alice Waters’ online cooking class is the perfect choice. Waters, the pioneer of the farm-to-table movement, teaches the art of home cooking and shows how to pick seasonal ingredients and create healthy, beautiful meals. This approach is one of the best ways to live a happy and healthy retired life.

Waters earned the James Beard Award for Outstanding Chef and founded the iconic restaurant Chez Panisse, which uses local and organic ingredients. In her first-ever online cooking class, Waters shares her expertise through 17 lessons.

She teaches how to buy ingredients from a farmers market and prepare vegetables in three ways: roasted, steamed, and raw. Waters also shows her kitchen essentials and demonstrates how to make Chez Panisse’s famous desserts and ravioli. Watch the trailer and a sample video lesson here to get more information about this cooking class.

6. Thomas Keller

If you want to elevate your cooking skills in retirement and become a better chef, follow the Cooking Techniques Class from Thomas Keller. Keller has won more Michelin stars than any chef in America and is the founder of renowned restaurants The French Laundry and Per Se, which serve classic French cuisine.

In his online cooking class, Keller teaches you how to make incredible food using techniques such as blanching, glazing, braising, roasting, puréeing, confiting, and pasta making. You’ll learn how to confit vegetables, poach perfect eggs, make hand-shaped pasta, and discover Keller’s kitchen essential tools and setup.

With 36 lessons, Keller’s class is a comprehensive guide to mastering cooking techniques. Check out his lesson plan and trailer here to start elevating your culinary skills in retirement.

These Masterclasses provide a fantastic opportunity for retirees to enhance their cooking skills and enjoy a culinary journey, all from the comfort of their own homes.

7. Wolfgang Puck

Explore the art of cooking with Wolfgang Puck’s comprehensive 4-hour online cooking class. Puck, renowned for his flagship restaurant Spago in West Hollywood and his inventive smoked salmon pizza, is a five-time James Beard Award-winning chef. In his Masterclass, he shares his culinary secrets, stories, and expertise, guiding you through a variety of dishes.

You’ll learn to master starters, mains, sides, and cocktails, and even create your own recipes. Some highlights include tuna sashimi, veal stock, demi-glace, pepper steak with red wine sauce, farro salad, béchamel sauce, and seafood gazpacho.

8. Dominique Ansel

Indulge your sweet tooth with the French Pastry Class from Dominique Ansel, the creator of the Cronut® and acclaimed as the world’s best pastry chef. Known for his innovative twists on classic desserts, Ansel teaches you the fundamentals and essential techniques of French pastry in his Masterclass.

You’ll learn to make classic pastries such as mini madeleines, fruit tarts, chocolate cakes, bonbons, and the perfect croissant. Ansel also shares the story behind the Cronut® and offers a fun and educational experience perfect for retirees looking to delight friends and family with their baking skills. Discover more about this delicious journey by watching the trailer here.

Indulge your sweet tooth with the French Pastry Class from Dominique Ansel, the creator of the Cronut® and acclaimed as the world’s best pastry chef. Known for his innovative twists on classic desserts, Ansel teaches you the fundamentals and essential techniques of French pastry in his Masterclass.

You’ll learn to make classic pastries such as mini madeleines, fruit tarts, chocolate cakes, bonbons, and the perfect croissant. Ansel also shares the story behind the Cronut® and offers a fun and educational experience perfect for retirees looking to delight friends and family with their baking skills.

9. Yotam Ottolenghi

If you love hummus and Middle Eastern cuisine, Yotam Ottolenghi’s online cooking class is perfect for you. Ottolenghi, one of today’s most influential chefs, offers 26 video lessons where he teaches you to make a variety of Middle Eastern-inspired dishes.

You’ll learn to create hummus, labneh, roasted eggplant salad, mezze, brunch spreads, Mafalda pasta, confit garlic oil, dukkah, and many more. The Masterclass annual membership gives you access to all 90+ classes, along with features such as audio-only lessons, offline viewing, PDF workbooks, and new monthly classes.

10. The Kitchn Cooking School

For a comprehensive cooking education in retirement, The Kitchn Cooking School offers a free 20-day, 20-lesson online course. This program helps you become a confident chef through daily crash courses on various topics, making it easy to fit into any schedule.

Each day covers a new subject, and you can connect with other classmates via The Kitchn’s Facebook group, Instagram, and Twitter accounts. Whether you’re busy or have ample time, The Kitchn Cooking School provides a flexible and social way to learn cooking. Learn more about this fantastic resource here.

11. BBC Food Mini Cooking Lessons

For quick and specific recipes, cooking tips, or techniques, check out BBC Food. Their website offers free mini-cooking instruction videos, each about one minute long, covering everything from boiling an egg to roasting a chicken and making pancakes.

These videos include detailed information on necessary equipment and tips for success. While they use UK measurements, a bit of math for conversions is a small price to pay for these concise and informative lessons. Explore BBC Food’s offerings here.

12. Bon Appétit

Looking to hone your cooking skills without breaking the bank? Look no further than Bon Appétit’s YouTube channel!

With over 6.59 million subscribers, it’s one of the most popular destinations for learning to cook. They go beyond just recipes, offering valuable tips and tricks to elevate your culinary game. Plus, with hundreds of hours of content, you’ll be entertained and educated for meals to come.

13. Community Colleges And Senior Centers

Local senior centers and community colleges are great places to find cooking classes that offer a chance to socialize and meet other like-minded retirees. Search for “community cooking class near me” or “senior center near me” on Google to find available options and contact them to learn about their offerings.

These classes provide a wonderful way to connect with your community while enhancing your culinary skills. Check out local opportunities and get started on your cooking journey.

14. Top Chef University

With the Top Chef University app, you can learn to cook like a Top Chef. This app offers professional cooking techniques and food preparation methods taught by contestants from Bravo’s hit show, Top Chef.

Download the app on your tablet, iPad, or iPhone to access over 200 video lessons and recipes, totaling 60 hours of content. Courses cover global cuisine, entertainment, stocks and soups, vegetables, eggs, and dairy, with videos lasting 10 to 20 minutes each.

15. Udemy is an online learning marketplace with over 130,000 courses and 35 million students. It offers a wide variety of cooking courses taught by instructors from around the world. You can filter courses by specific cooking techniques, cuisines, or skill levels to find the perfect match for your interests.

Each course comes with lifetime access and a 30-day money-back guarantee, with prices ranging from $10 to $25. Check instructor bios and ratings before signing up to ensure you choose the best course for your needs. Explore Udemy’s cooking classes here.

Frequently Asked Questions

Before you enroll in a class, you might have some questions swirling around in your pot. This section is here to simmer down those concerns and provide all the key information you need to feel confident signing up.

What equipment do I need for online cooking classes?

Basic kitchen equipment such as knives, pots, pans, and utensils are usually required. Specific classes may require additional tools or ingredients, which are typically listed in the course materials.

Are there cooking classes that focus on healthy eating?

Yes, many cooking classes focus on healthy eating and nutrition. These classes often emphasize using fresh, organic ingredients and teach techniques for preparing balanced, nutritious meals.

Can I find cooking classes that accommodate dietary restrictions?

Many cooking classes cater to dietary restrictions, such as gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan, or low-sodium diets. It’s best to check the class description or contact the instructor to ensure the class meets your dietary needs.

Do cooking classes offer opportunities for socializing?

In-person cooking classes, especially those at community centers or senior centers, often provide a great opportunity to meet and socialize with others. Online classes may also include interactive elements like live sessions or forums.

How long do cooking classes usually last?

The duration of cooking classes can vary from one-hour sessions to multi-week courses. Online classes often allow you to learn at your own pace, while in-person classes might have a set schedule.

Do I need any prior cooking experience to enroll in a cooking class?

No prior cooking experience is necessary for many beginner-level classes. These classes are designed to teach fundamental skills and techniques suitable for anyone starting out.

Can I take cooking classes with a partner or friend?

Yes, many cooking classes encourage participants to bring a partner or friend. It can make the experience more enjoyable and provide a collaborative learning environment.

Can I get a certification from a cooking class?

Some cooking schools and professional culinary programs offer certificates upon completion of a course. Online platforms may also provide certificates for specific courses, though these are typically more informal.

What if I miss a class in a series?

Policies vary, but many in-person classes allow you to make up a missed session or provide notes and materials to catch up. Online classes often offer flexibility to review lessons at your own pace, making it easier to stay on track.

Can cooking classes be adapted for those with mobility issues?

Many cooking classes, especially online ones, can be adapted for individuals with mobility issues. In-person classes may also offer accommodations, such as seated workstations or accessible facilities, so it’s important to inquire about specific needs when enrolling.


Retirement is a great time to explore new flavors, improve your cooking skills, and connect with other food enthusiasts. With a wide range of cooking classes available for seniors and retirees, your kitchen can become a hub of learning and enjoyment. Take this opportunity to enhance your culinary abilities and enjoy the process of mastering the art of cooking.

On the other hand, if you would like to know more about retirement, check out my other published articles. Here are a few of them:

Happy reading!


My wife and I quit the rat race and retired in 2021. We RV'ed around the US for a couple of years and now we're slow traveling outside the US!

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